Claus Lechmann, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist for Children and Adolescents and Adults (CBT), is since 1995 head of the Cologne Autism Therapy Centre and works also in his own Private Practice, author of articles and Video-Learning about ST-CA with autistic youth and patients with BDP.
Schema Therapy for Children and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Co-Presented with Christof Loose
In previous treatment approaches for young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the disorder-specific emotional needs, schemas, modes and coping strategies play no or a subordinate role. Schema therapy for this group of clients is relatively new, and therefore requires a more differentiated perpective and extension to the usual practice within Schema Therapy.
In this Skills Class, typical schemas and modes in clients with ASD will be elaborated and a ASD-specific mode concept will be introduced. Typical hurdles within the ASD-specific treatment will be described, classified and solution paths will be discussed. For parents and other caregivers, schema therapy provides two starting points. On the one hand, the mode model offers a new framework for an understanding of ASD-specific problems including socio-emotional issues. On the other hand, the clients typical behavioural patterns can be better understood, classified, and, if necessary, modified in an appropriate, individual way. Finally, typical mode clashes between parental caregivers and ASD clients are discussed, completed by guidelines to support parents in strengthening their caring-and-guidance mode (Healthy Adult). This ASD-specific approach is highlighted by the dynamic interplay between warm and nurturing parenting on one side, and empathic confrontation on the other side.
The schema therapeutic treatment of ASD clients requires a special consideration of the disorder-specific particular needs, accompanied by a mode- and schema-based treatment within CBT protocols that is supported by the system in which the client lives (e.g. family).